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A wall of Black Lives Matter art sits in front of preparations for Joe Biden's inauguration near the White House. Photo: Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

President-elect Biden will on Wednesday launch a "whole-of-government" initiative aimed at advancing racial equity in federal policymaking and rooting out systemic racism from programs and institutions.

Why it matters: Biden’s win relied heavily on voters of color — especially Black Americans.

The big picture: A description of the executive action defines equity as "the consistent and systematic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals, including individuals who belong to underserved communities."

  • "Analysis suggests that closing racial gaps in wages, housing credit, lending opportunities, and access to higher education would amount to an additional $5 trillion in gross domestic product in the American economy over the next 5 years, and create millions of new jobs."
  • "We are a nation founded on principles of equality and it is in the interest of everyone across the country that the government be intentional in ensuring that its policies reach all of us in an equitable way."

Biden's initiative will:

  • Direct every federal agency to conduct a baseline internal review of the agency’s "state of equity."
  • Launch a new equitable data working group to ensure federal data accurately reflects the nation.
  • Task the Office of Management and Budget with allocating federal resources to communities of color.
  • Improve engagement with and delivery of government services to underserved communities.

Susan Rice will head a “robust interagency process to hold the federal government accountable for advancing equity for families across America."

  • The executive action also rescinds the Trump administration’s 1776 Commission, which “sought to erase America’s history of racial injustice,” as well as Trump’s order preventing federal agencies and contractors from holding diversity and inclusion trainings.

Go deeper: America's unfinished business

Go deeper

Black Lives Matter movement nominated for 2021 Nobel Peace Prize

Protestors take part in a Black Lives Matter march outside the Parliament building in Oslo, Norway in solidarity with U.S. protests over the death of George Floyd. Photo by Stian Lysberg Solum/AFP via Getty Images

The Black Lives Matter movement has been nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for compelling countries around the world to address systemic racism.

Why it matters: The BLM movement launched in 2013 following George Zimmerman's acquittal for shooting Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black teenager. The case kickstarted the international movement to address the controversial deaths of Black people, particularly at the hands of police.

Biden to sign voting rights order to mark "Bloody Sunday" anniversary

President Biden will sign an executive order today, on the 56th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," meant to promote voting rights, according to an administration official.

Why it matters: The executive order comes as Democrats face an uphill battle to pass a sweeping election bill meant, in part, to combat a growing number of proposals introduced by Republicans at the state level that would restrict voter access.

Updated 5 hours ago - World

In photos: Pope Francis spreads message of peace on first trip to Iraq

Pope Francis waving as he arrives near the ruins of the Syriac Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception (al-Tahira-l-Kubra), in the old city of Iraq's northern Mosul on March 7. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis was on Sunday visiting areas of northern Iraq once held by Islamic State militants.

Why it matters: This is the first-ever papal trip to Iraq. The purpose of Francis' four-day visit is largely intended to reassure the country's Christian minority, who were violently persecuted by ISIS, which controlled the region from 2014-2017.